Saturday, 8 December 2012

On water, milk and alcohol – with a little politics thrown in.

While we’ve been having floods in the UK and continue to have precipitation of one kind or another (rain, sleet, snow) far more frequently than is really necessary in the Orense province of Galicia a village has reappeared after being drowned under an artificial since 1992. The dam generates electricity for a Portuguese company and all they say about the reappearance of Aceredo is that it’s the result of low rainfall. Whatever the reason it’s generating lots of interest among tourists and former residents of the old village, looking with nostalgia at the place where they grew up. 

Something else, or rather someone else, popping up again, this time in Italy is Berlusconi. The tax evader and risqué party organiser has declared his intention to stand as a candidate in next year’s presidential elections. Cynics say that he wants to protect his business interests but he maintains he is standing out of a sense of responsibility and the desire to serve his country once more. Now doubt my Italian teacher will be tearing her hair out with this news. 

I have been known to speculate on the reason why it is sometime difficult to find fresh milk in Spanish supermarkets. Litres and litres of the sterilised (uperizada) stuff are always available but you have to go out of your way to find a source of proper fresh milk. Eroski and Froiz are usually a good bet but I’ve never found it in Día or some of the other supermarkets. Today I read that 70% of Galician-produced milk leaves the area, much of it going into the hands (or possibly tanks) of French or Swiss companies. Why?? Time for a campaign to keep more of that Galician milk in Galicia perhaps. 

Meanwhile in the UK a different kind of drinking is rumoured to be on the decline. New studies maintain that binge-drinking among the young, especially among students, is reducing. Maybe the students have finally decided that with university costs being so high they can’t afford to carry on drinking to excess. Somebody from Warwick University said that students are staying in more. “Social media now accounts for a lot of students’ leisure time. When going out, they are finding other ways to socialise.” Maybe those science fiction predictions of a society where people stay in their own little pods, communicating electronically but never leaving their own space, are coming true. 

It’s an interesting idea but I’ll reserve judgement on that one, I think.

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